Recently ESPN completed a profile on Benson Lin, a junior at Wesley Christian Academy in Allen City, Kentucky. Benson has played in the Jordan Brand International Game, in the 16U world championships in Spain, and on the Nike EYBL circuit. He is getting a lot of attention back in Taiwan, as well on the NCAA recruiting circuit.
I first met Benson when I worked the Nike All Taiwan camp a few summers back. My friend Jerry, who works for Nike, told me that Benson was the best up and coming player in the country. His family is ingrained in the Taiwanese basketball world and knew that in order to get the most out of Benson he would have to go to the US for high school. I talked to Wesley Christian Coach Jack Jarrell and explained what Benson could bring to his school culture-wise, as well as to the team. Benson and brothers Jeff and Harry Sun, enrolled in August of 2015. Together the three improved their English and learned about the US culture. Eastern Kentucky might not be a metropolitan area such as Taipei, but the area and the state love its basketball. This was a perfect fit. While Benson is a good player now, he is still maturing into his body and fine tuning all parts of his game. While there are two other Taiwanese players currently at D1 schools (Jeff Wu at Sacramento State and Ray Chen at Liberty), Benson has a chance to be the best ever to come from the island.
Benson’s popularity back home and success in the US has inspired other Taiwanese players to attend high school at US prep schools. At the beginning of next school year, PREP Athletics will have placed 25 Taiwanese players into schools throughout the US. While they might not all be as talented as Benson, they each have a chance to learn English, the American style of basketball, and hopefully get an opportunity to play in college.